The determinants of cell shape were explored in a study of the crenation (spiculation) of the isolated erythrocyte membrane. Standard ghosts prepared in 5 mM NaPi (pH 8) were plump, dimpled disks even when prepared from echinocytic (spiculated) red cells. These ghosts became crenated in the presence of isotonic saline, millimolar levels of divalent cations, 1 mM 2,4-dinitrophenol or 0.1 mM lysolecithin. Crenation was suppressed in ghosts generated under conditions of minimal osmotic stress, in ghosts from red cells partially depleted of cholesterol, and, paradoxically, in ghosts from red cells crenated by lysolecithin. The susceptibility of ghosts to crenation was lost with time; this process was potentiated by elevated temperature, low ionic strength, and traces of detergents or chlorpromazine. In that ghost shape was influenced by a variety of amphipaths, our results favor the premise that the bilayer and not the subjacent protein reticulum drives ghost crenation. The data also suggest that vigorous osmotic hemolysis induces a redistribution of lipids between the two leaflets of the bilayer which affects membrane contour through a bilayer couple mechanism. Subsequent relaxation of that metastable distribution could account for the observed loss of crenatability.
"It could explain several other observations directly or indirectly related to the erythrocyte shape, suggesting its plausibility  . The other view is, however, that bilayer has a dominant role while skeleton plastically accommodates the contours imposed upon it by the overlying membrane  . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Morphological response (MR) of red blood cells represents a triphasic sequence of spontaneously occurring shape transformation between different shape states upon transfer the cells into isotonic sucrose solution in the order: S(0) (initial discoid shape in physiological saline)-->S(1) (echinocytic shape at the beginning of MR, phase 1)-->S(2) (intermediate discoid shape, phase 2)-->S(3) (final stomatocytic shape, phase 3). In this paper, the dynamics of cell shape changes was investigated by non-invasive light fluctuation method and optical microscopy. Among 12 possible transitions between four main shape states, we experimentally demonstrate here an existence of nine transitions between neighbour or remote states in this sequence. Based on these findings and data from the literature, we may conclude that red blood cells are able to change their shape through direct transitions between four main states except transition S(1)-->S(0), which has not been identified yet. Some shape transitions and their temporal sequence are in accord with predictions of bilayer couple concept, whereas others for example transitions between remote states S(3)-->S(1), S(1)-->S(3) and S(3)-->S(0) are difficult to explain based solely on the difference in relative surface areas of both leaflets of membrane suggesting more complex mechanisms involved. Our data show that MR could represents a phenomenon in which the major role can play pH and chloride-sensitive sensor and switching mechanisms coupled with transmembrane signaling thus involving both cytoskeleton and membrane in coordinated shape response on changes in cell ionic environment.
"The next step toward a full understanding of the cell-shape transformations should be to relate the area difference between the leaflets with the changes in the medium's ionic strength and the transmembrane potential. Lange et al.  and Grebe et al.  have considered the electrostatic repulsion between charged residues in membrane surface as an expansive force, which can create the area difference between the leaflets. As this electrostatic repulsion can be quantitatively predicted by the electric double layer theory , the coupling of the latter with a membrane-mechanical model, like that in , would lead to the construction of a complete quantitative theory of the stomatocyte–echinocyte transformation. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study represents an attempt to achieve a better understanding of the stomatocyte-echinocyte transition in the shape of red blood cells. We determined experimentally the index of cell shape at various ionic strengths and osmolarities for native and trypsin-treated human erythrocytes. For every given composition of the outer phase, we calculated the ionic strength in the cells and the transmembrane electric potential using a known theoretical model. Next, we described theoretically the electric double layers formed on both sides of the cell membrane, and derived expressions for the tensions of the two membrane leaflets. Taking into account that the cell-shape index depends on the tension difference between the two leaflets, we fitted the experimental data with the constructed physicochemical model. The model, which agrees well with the experiment, indicates that the tension difference between the two leaflets is governed by the different adsorptions of counterions at the two membrane surfaces, rather than by the direct contribution of the electric double layers to the membrane tension. Thus, with the rise of the ionic strength, the counterion adsorption increases stronger at the outer leaflet, whose stretching surface pressure becomes greater, and whose area expands relative to that of the inner leaflet. Hence, there is no contradiction between the bilayer-couple hypothesis and the electric double layer theory, if the latter is upgraded to account for the effect of counterion-adsorption on the membrane tension. The developed quantitative model can be applied to predict the shape index of cells upon a stomatocyte-discocyte-echinocyte transformation at varying composition of the outer medium.
"Ca2+ also induces a transbilayer phospholipid redistribution inducing a shape change of red blood cells . In addition, Ca2+ ions can drive spiculation of the membrane bilayer without involving the cytoskeleton . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Annexin A7 is a Ca2+- and phospholipid-binding protein expressed as a 47 and 51 kDa isoform, which is thought to be involved in membrane fusion processes. Recently the 47 kDa isoform has been identified in erythrocytes where it was proposed to be a key component in the process of the Ca2+-dependent vesicle release, a process with which red blood cells might protect themselves against an attack by for example complement components.
The role of annexin A7 in red blood cells was addressed in erythrocytes from anxA7-/- mice. Interestingly, the Ca2+-mediated vesiculation process was not impaired. Also, the membrane organization appeared not to be disturbed as assessed using gradient fractionation studies. Instead, lack of annexin A7 led to an altered cell shape and increased osmotic resistance of red blood cells. Annexin A7 was also identified in platelets. In these cells its loss led to a slightly slower aggregation velocity which seems to be compensated by an increased number of platelets. The results appear to rule out an important role of annexin A7 in membrane fusion processes occurring in red blood cells. Instead the protein might be involved in the organization of the membrane cytoskeleton. Red blood cells may represent an appropriate model to study the role of annexin A7 in cellular processes.
We have demonstrated the presence of both annexin A7 isoforms in red blood cells and the presence of the small isoform in platelets. In both cell types the loss of annexin A7 impairs cellular functions. The defects observed are however not compatible with a crucial role for annexin A7 in membrane fusion processes in these cell types.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.